Monthly Archives: September 2013

5 Awesome DIY Concrete Projects

By Marica

My fingers have been itching quite some time to attempt some of the ingenious DIY projects I have found on Pinterest. I have to confess the only reason I have not yet tried any of the DIYs I have so painstakingly pinned is that I’m all thumbs… that and quite lazy. The concrete projects especially have piqued my interest – they usually look super sleek and contemporary, not to mention very impressive. I’m also hoping that hearing the words “DIY” and “concrete” in the same sentence will convince my brother, the civil engineer, to be my DIY minion for a day (translation: I’ll sit on a chair with a tall drink shouting directions while he does all the heavy labour).

Check out some of the awesome concrete DIY tutorials I have found thus far…

Mette from monsterscircus made these cool advent candle holders and small votives out of concrete. She used empty cool drink cans (that’s “soda” cans for our American friends) and water bottles as moulds. I love the glitzy paint-dipped effect, especially since metallics like gold and copper are currently trending – it adds a lovely rich and glamorous element to the concrete votives. Pop over to monstercircus for the step-by-step instructions: here.

Looks like a designer pendant lamp doesn’t it? You would have to fork over a bunch of cash if you spotted something similar in a retail space. Ben Uyeda of Homemade Modern only spent $9 (that’s about R 90) on this concrete pendant light that took him just 2 hours to create. With just a bit of ingenuity, you can make yourself an entire set of stylish concrete pendant lights with a single bag of concrete mix and some old plastic bottles. Want to try this DIY yourself? Check out Ben’s instructions: here.

Another SUPER awesome DIY project from Ben and the Homemade Modern team – concrete milking stools! Isn’t it absolutely adorable? Ben used an old 20 litre bucket (that’s 5 gallons for those not metric literate) as a mould for the concrete seats. These stools cost about $5 a pop to make! I think I’m definitely going to try these first! Check out the Homemade Modern website for the play-by-play: here.

Eilen Tein deconstructed some cardboard letters she bought to serve as moulds for her concrete letters. These look absolutely smashing as bookends or as quirky décor on a mantle or shelf! Visit Eilen’s website to see her concrete alphabet recipe: here.

I love this minimalist concrete clock found on the blog Hobby Design. The South Korean designer responsible for making this definitely has a way with concrete… unfortunately Google Translate can’t seem to successfully translate the instructions to English. The images are pretty clear though. Mmm, maybe I can get my friend who has spent some time in South Korea to translate it for me…

{So, what do you think of these Concrete DIYs? Thinking of trying some? I sure can’t wait!}

Décor Dictionary: Military Chest

{click to enlarge}

Military Chest(or Campaign Chest) is a sturdy chest of drawers most popular during the 18th and 19th century. The chest was specifically designed to be carried and used by officers on military campaigns. Typically, a military chest dismantles into two halves with removable feet and often has flush or hidden handles – all to ease mobility. A military chest is easily recognizable by its brass capped corners and the strap work between the drawers – originally added to strengthen and protect the edges of these pieces as they were moved.  

[Image Sources: 1, 2, 3]

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Coffee Tables: A Contemporary Take

Over the course of the past year, we have been lucky enough to be working on interior projects that have given us the opportunity of applying some trendy new industrial/rustic living décor and design elements. I have to admit that trying to source the industrial furniture elements has not always been that easy here in Cape Town. In fact, I would go so far as to say, that it is a great pity that the retail furniture outlets in town that cater for that type of style are so limited.

Thank heavens for Weylandts. Man oh man – they are a forward thinking décor company. We spent hours and hours during the course of these projects trawling their showrooms. During this time I was introduced to the concept of having multiple “side tables” (for want of a better description) of varying shapes and textured being put to use as “centre coffee tables”. Something like a round metal table mixed with a tribal wood stump table as well another smaller and taller side table. A cluster of tables so to speak.

The most appealing aspect of this styling method is the fact that it presents a less bulky and fixed look than the coffee table. And of course it is far more entertaining and playful for the eye of the beholder. Plus – the other added benefit is that these tables are more mobile – you can shift them around in that space to where they are most suited and functional.

I would encourage you to explore this concept of cluster tabling for your next coffee table purchase.  It will cost slightly more, but then it is not every day one steps out to purchase a coffee table. So make it good and make it work. Save a little longer and buy wisely. Far too often have I encountered oversized and bulky coffee tables that do nothing for the space and leave very little or no space for traffic flow around them. Far too often very little creative thought is given to this facet of home decorating – coffee tables frequently appear to be nothing more than an afterthought! And it need not be so. Using a collection of different tables gives you the opportunity to be expressive and creative. Just a by the way – although I have spoken of it in the context of the industrial and rustic styled house, this type of cluster tables is not limited to those styles and can be applied into any style.

I challenge you to get out there the next time you want to do coffee or side tabling and dare to be different. Explore the net and the retail showrooms. Research and spend some time thinking outta the box. It can really be very exciting.

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